Dele Alli shows the value of clinical touch in the Spurs victory when Adama Traore fluffs her lines

“We have Alli, Dele Alli”, shouted Spurs fans, a song more synonymous with Mauricio Pochettino’s exciting days when the midfielder could make a legitimate claim to be the most talented number ten in the league.

Jose Mourinho’s reign threatened to draw the curtain on Allis Spurs’ career, but the suspicion that the midfielder could survive the Portuguese when he continued to start arguments in empty houses last season has been proven correct.

Alli proved the difference on Sunday, both winning and sending the penalty when Tottenham beat Wolves to make two wins from two in the league for Nuno Espirito Santo as Spurs manager.

In truth, the result was more a product of hard work, wealth and ultimate challenges for Spurs than it earned through a nap. But what Nuno brags about – even more so with Harry Kane’s long-awaited return to Molineux – is a murderous instinct in the attacking area. Bruno Lage can be forgiven for hoping that Adama Traore would one day pair the exact attribute of his terrifying individual ability.

Spain’s international was sent through on the hour mark with only Hugo Lloris to beat. As he lacked composure, he could not wrap his finish around Spurs number one and the Molineux crowd was left with his head in his hands.

It was a display of real verve from Traore, as he tormented the inexperienced Japhet Tanganga in the opening period and drove the ball into dangerous areas for the Wolves to threaten Spurs’ penalty area. Wolves wide man finished the game with 66 hands, more than Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura combined.

He sashayed inside with the ball threateningly early in the first half, spreading play widely to the dangerous Nelson Semedo as the Wolves unleashed chaos on the Spurs on the flanks with their wing-back system. In the 26th minute, Traore blew past Tanganga and cut the ball back to Raul Jimenez on the edge of the area for the Mexican to shoot over, even though there seemed to be better placed options like herring into the six yard box. Spurs midfielder Oliver Skipp was then forced to wear a rope during the rest of the match when he was booked for pulling Traore down just before half-time.

Traore denied by Lloris / David Rogers / Getty Images

It seemed only a matter of time before Wolves would level off under pressure from waves in the second half, but Lage’s side were saddled with a lack of conviction in the final third, with Francisco Trincao also guilty on the opposite side.

Instead, Spurs could have killed it through Kane while Alli kept a threat on the counterattack. Only Sergio Reguilon had more details than the Spurs midfielder (62) as his use of both the ball and the space excelled in a Spurs performance that would not have looked out of place under Mourinho.

Fortunately for Alli, Spurs are now led by a manager who understands the benefits of his ability. The 25-year-old is most effective in situations when everyone around him loses coolness. The intelligence to run beyond Wolves’ backline with room for a prize behind showed the value a player gives to the squad.

Alli disappears from Jose Sa / Marc Atkins / Getty Images

It was a move reminiscent of his exquisite touch and finish against Chelsea in Spurs’ famous victory at Stamford Bridge 2018, not so much the technology as the intelligence to find peace in a big situation.

Because one talented attacker frustrated at one end, another proved the X-factor at the other.

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